Evaluation of vaccine-induced antibody responses: impact of new technologies.
Host response to vaccination has historically been evaluated based on a change in antibody titer that compares the post-vaccination titer to the pre-vaccination titer. A four-fold or greater increase in antigen-specific antibody has been interpreted to indicate an increase in antibody production in response to vaccination. New technologies, such as the bead-based assays, provide investigators and clinicians with precise antibody levels (reported as concentration per mL) in ranges below and above those previously available through standard assays such as ELISA. Evaluations of bead assay data to determine host response to vaccination using fold change and absolute change, with a general linear model used to calculate adjusted statistics, present very different pictures of the antibody response when pre-vaccination antibody levels are low. Absolute changes in bead assay values, although not a standard computation, appears to more accurately reflect the host response to vaccination for those individuals with extremely low pre-vaccination antibody levels. Conversely, for these same individuals, fold change may be very high while post-vaccination antibodies do not achieve seroprotective levels. Absolute change provides an alternate method to characterize host response to vaccination, especially when pre-vaccination levels are very low, and may be useful in studies designed to determine associations between host genotypes and response to vaccination.
Zaccaro, DJ; Wagener, DK; Whisnant, CC; Staats, HF
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